Cherry-picked from preeminent schools, programs, and circles, the instructors at Academy of Performing Arts share not only their extensive experience as dancers, but also their knowledge from their time spent in the world of professional dance. As leaders of a number of classes, they get participants moving during sessions suited for a range of experience levels and grouped as such. The studio offers both traditional dance classes such as Irish dancing, modern, hip hop, jazz, tap, and ballet, as well as fitness-oriented Zumba, pilates, and yoga.
Praised by 92064 Magazine, creator Ben Hansen and his six-member company show the many musical uses of household items and junk with Street Beat: A Theatrical Drum and Dance Show. The players transform trash cans into percussive instruments and pay a chorus of vacuum cleaners to sing "Oye Como Va," helping them churn out a jazzy fusion of African, Cuban, and Latin beats. Hip-hop moves and breakdance acrobatics accompany the musical barrage, making for a stomping jubilee for the senses. The show also beats down the fourth wall and does the worm on it by beseeching participation from the all-ages audience, who are encouraged to protect themselves by wearing shoulder pads made out of xylophones.
When the San Diego Dance Centre was established in 1974, the school had 35 students. Over the years, the school has grown to more than 400 students, necessitating a move into a 9,000-square-foot studio with five dance studio rooms, full-length mirrors, and marley flooring that provides traction and support. Passionate, experienced instructors, including owner Kristen Hibbs, guide students through jazz, ballet, hip-hop, and other dance styles, and also through acrobatic and tumbling classes. The school welcomes dancers of all experience levels, from total beginners to advanced dancers such as Sophia Lucia, a student featured on the television show Dance Moms.
A childhood peppered with basketball, football, and volleyball couldn't keep Mary Murphy out of the ballroom after she was struck by the athleticism of the sport while watching a championship performance in her early twenties. She began to compete around the world, eventually slowing down enough to found Champion Ballroom Academy in 1990 and finally teaching there full-time in between stints on Fox's So You Think You Can Dance.
Mary has plucked like-minded instructors for her studio, some of whom created Core Rhythms, a Latin dance-based aerobics program. Many of the other teachers are competitive-dance champions or black belts in hula hoop. Aside from running a flourishing dance studio, Mary's palpable passion for the art form has also driven her to play a leading role in San Diego's Chance to Dance program, a curriculum that introduces school kids to the artistry and strength-building foundations of dance.
The jazz standard ?Flying Home? brought Savoy Swing Club?s founders together in 1993 at a dance camp, after which the group of friends began meeting regularly to keep the choreography fresh in their minds. The troupe?s dedication to the lindy hop and other jazz-era dances gradually blossomed into the club?s current calendar of professionally staffed classes, workshops, and dance events. Classes grouped by skill level progressively transform students with two left feet or three right toes into fleet-footed hoofers, imparting classic moves that help nurture a sense of rhythm and speed. Each week, students of all levels can take part in Savoy Mondays, a decade-long tradition, as DJs and a single trumpeting swan provide background music for dancers to sharpen their moves. And on the first and third Fridays of every month, the basement of the local Bagel Deli becomes the Blues Underground, where a free introductory blues lesson is followed by a late night of dancing.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.